Judge gives Intel more time to find missing e-mail

A court has granted Intel seven extra days to explain to a judge why it lost e-mail records that could provide proof that the chip maker used anticompetitive practices as alleged by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

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A court has granted Intel seven extra days to explain to a judge why it lost e-mail records that could provide proof that the chip maker used anticompetitive practices as alleged by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

Intel has until 17 April to give the court an accounting of its document preservation problems and to propose a better solution for archiving future records.

A judge agreed in December to enforce AMD's request to view Intel records as it prepared for an April 2009 trial, so that it could determine whether Intel used its overwhelming market share in the semiconductor industry to force PC vendors to use only its processors.

That process hit a snag when Intel said in March it had accidentally deleted many of those records, including e-mail written by its Chairman Craig Barrett and CEO Paul Ottelini.

The problem happened because the company failed to instruct certain employees to keep records of their own e-mail, other employees assumed the IT department would do that task for them, and meanwhile the company's IT system was automatically deleting most e-mail after a certain amount of time, Intel told a judge.

Intel and AMD had originally agreed to a deadline of April 10 to see a full assessment of the lost data and discuss ways to restore some of it, according to a transcript of a 7 March hearing before Poppiti. But delays in issuing the order led to the deadline extension.

Despite this , the basic facts of the case remain the same, with AMD continuing its search for evidence that Intel broke antitrust laws, said AMD spokesman Michael Silverman in an e-mail.

"Although Intel has agreed to restore all data captured in the thousands of backup tapes it made and preserved, no one can say with any degree of confidence that this will put Humpty-Dumpty back together again," AMD said in a 5 March court statement.

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